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Wisconsin governor orders limit on indoor gatherings as COVID-19 threat grows

MADISON, WI -- Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ordered a capacity limit on all indoor, public gatherings in the state.

According to the order, public gatherings must be limited to no more than 25 percent of a room or building’s total occupancy.

The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. Thursday, October 8 and will stay in effect until November 6.

"It applies to any gatherings at locations that are open to the public such as stores, restaurants, and other businesses that allow public entry, as well as spaces with ticketed events," according to the Governor's office.

Click here to read the full order and list of exemptions.

“We’re in a crisis right now and need to immediately change our behavior to save lives,” said Gov. Evers. “We are continuing to experience a surge in cases and many of our hospitals are overwhelmed, and I believe limiting indoor public gatherings will help slow the spread of this virus. Folks, we need your help and we need all Wisconsinites to work together during this difficult time. The sooner we get control of this virus, the sooner our economy, communities, and state can bounce back.”

Earlier today, the governor also announced an additional $100 million in support for Wisconsin's small businesses, including lodging, event venues, and others in the tourism industry, who are struggling in the wake of the pandemic without additional federal supports.

Tuesday, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services reported an increase of 2,020 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 18 new deaths.

The state's seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases is 2,346, up from 836 one month ago.

According to DHS’ Disease Activity dashboard and as of Sept. 30, 2020, 45 of Wisconsin counties meet the threshold of a very high disease activity level, which means that there are more than 350 cases per 100,000 people in that county.

All other counties reported high case activity levels.

"This means Wisconsinites should assume they will likely be exposed to the virus if they leave home and should practice all safety precautions," according to Evers' office.

Health experts advised Wisconsinites to take the following steps to stop the spread of COVID-19:

-Stay home whenever possible
-Wear a mask
-Wash your hands frequently
-If you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested
-Get the flu shot to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
-Challenge misinformation and talk to friends and families about the importance of these safety precautions.

Briggs LeSavage

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